As a band, there are many ways to deal with members of the crowd who invade your stage at the risk of getting in your way, standing on your gear, and generally being a nuisance. You can tap them on the shoulder and motion to them to please exit your space, like an adult. If they're being particularly aggressive, you can stop the show and call security. What you should absolutely not do is assert your dominance in the most disgusting way possible by dropkicking them behind their back. Especially if the crowd member in question is a young girl engaging in the completely passive act of taking a selfie on stage. Apparently The Story So Far's Parker Cannon didn't get that memo though.
On stage at a show in Toronto's Mod Club Theatre on Sunday night, Cannon's first-resort solution to the problem of a young girl rushing the stage to take a selfie of the band she loves enough to be there in the first place is to jump in the air and kick her in the back so hard she falls face first back into the crowd.
This isn't the first time this has happened. Last year, Cannon booted a dude off stage in Houston for the same reason. Although the act itself isn't necessarily worse because it happened to a young girl, it is when you consider the fact that pop-punk in general is already an incredibly hostile space towards non-dudes. Whether it's giving sexual predators a free pass, defending the God-given right to stage dive regardless of who it means injuring or ostracising in the process, or gleefully assaulting your fans just because your privilege means that you can.
The flippancy with which Cannon acts so aggressively towards a young female fan who is literally funding his excuse to be on stage in the first place – despite the fact that he spends every night shouting "think about who you let between your thighs” and “I know where you’ve been / You’re ruining men” into a mic – is fucking gross. Yes, taking selfies onstage is probably quite annoying, but as a grown ass adult it's your responsibility to handle it A) reasonably and B) not like a piece of shit.
Nobody should be made to feel unwelcome or endangered at a show. Ever. There are similar bands in the world like Joyce Manor that choose to stop mid-song to address the stagedivers they felt were being particularly aggressive and inconsiderate to some of the smaller, more vulnerable members of the crowd, and every all dude so-called punk band should be taking cues from them. Obviously, it's hard to control exactly what goes on at your shows, but the one thing bands do have total control over is their own behaviour. If you use your platform to assault your fans – many of whom are teenage girls – then not only is it an awful thing to do, it's also going to perpetuate an already rife culture of misogyny in the first place.
The truth is, actively rejecting sexist and violent behaviour in an attempt to make your shows safer and more inclusive is the most punk thing you can do right now.
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